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    PUPILS OF THE RUSSIAN SCHOOLS IN LATVIA WANT TO BE TAUGHT IN RUSSIAN

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    RIGA, January 23, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The pupils of the Russian schools in Riga and in the second biggest Latvian city of Daugavpils went on a warning strike on Friday, thus protesting against the authorities' policy in the sphere of education of the national minorities.

    The pupils protested, in particular, against the decision, approved by the Latvian Saeima (parliament), to teach all subjects, except the native language and literature, in the Latvian language in the senior classes of the national schools.

    The pupils demanded the resignation of Education Minister Karlis Sadurskis.

    The political observers in Latvia believe that the movement in defence of the Russian schools has entered a new stage. Up to this time, mainly representatives of the Left Centrist parties and Russian-speaking public organisations spoke about the right of Russian-speaking people to receive the secondary education in their native language, now actions in defence of the Russian schools are acquiring a mass and mostly spontaneous character.

    The Russian newspaper Vesti Segodnya, published in Riga, says that the Latvian "nationally concerned authorities have let the ginnee out of the bottle," and the process "is about to go out of control." Russians constitute at least one third of Latvia's population.

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